Dell to resell FalconStor software

By Lisa Coleman

FalconStor and Dell Computer's software and peripherals unit have inked a reseller agreement that authorizes Dell to resell FalconStor's IPStor storage software suite. Both companies announced the agreement this week.

The reseller agreement should significantly benefit FalconStor, say analysts, who are bullish on Dell's high visibility and aggressive sales. The software and peripherals unit is Dell's distribution arm that resells non-Dell products.

While FalconStor has its roots in storage virtualization, analysts label IPStor a data management product. "They do a lot more data management than just virtualization," says Jamie Gruener, a senior analyst at The Yankee Group consulting firm. "They also do replication, snapshots, capacity-on-demand, etc."

FalconStor's Wayne Lam, vice president of marketing, agrees. "We don't like to call IPStor a virtualization product because we don't require virtualization," he says.

IPStor is storage networking software that provides data management and data-recovery capabilities for storage area networks (SANs) and network-attached storage (NAS). The software runs in-band on a standard Linux or Solaris box equipped with SCSI, Fibre Channel, SSA, or iSCSI host bus adapters. An IPStor "server" then hosts storage devices while application or database servers are also connected to the IPStor server via Fibre Channel or Ethernet.

To take advantage of IPStor's storage services--such as replication, storage- and server-level fail-over, mirroring, snapshots, backup and restore, and other features--storage does not have to be virtualized, according to Lam. He believes that users want data management benefits before they will consider virtualization for better capacity utilization.

Meanwhile, Dell is waiting for customer demand for virtualization products to "pick up" before deciding on a specific virtualization strategy, says Russell Bailey, who manages Dell's storage product management team. "We're still evaluating what customer requirements are, and we're not ready to announce any strategy yet," he adds.

This article was originally published on June 19, 2002